We know that Apple is continuously prototyping and testing all kinds of different products, both new and variations on existing ones. While we will never see the vast majority of these experiments, it is interesting to think about what could be. You can pretty much assume that anything we have thought about that is within Apple’s product umbrella has been at least drawn up, if not built to some level of completion. I’m going to occasionally be asking you about some likely experiments that Apple has dabbled with, and ask you the question- “Would you buy this?”
First up is a potential product that comes up somewhat often and is a lightning rod for controversy thanks to Apple’s strict divide between iOS and macOS. I want to know, would you buy an iOS device in a MacBook body? I’m talking about a full touchscreen 11″ or 13″ iPad Pro speced device with Pencil compatibility, but in a MacBook form factor with a fully integrated keyboard.
There are plenty of particulars and compromises that would have to worked out for such a device. First off, would Apple stick with USB-C exclusively, or add Lightning for charging? Maybe both? I think that one could go either way.
Next up is the issue of the touchpad. We all know that the MacBooks have some of the best touchpads in the business. Would Apple dare to add support to iOS and the iPad, or would this device stick to touchscreen only and ditch the MacBook’s touchpad? I personally think that a device like this without a touchpad would be more likely.
As for the iPad’s Home Button, that is rumored to be on its way out the door on the iPad Pro anyway, so I highly doubt it would find its way into such a product. If you have used a Bluetooth or Smart Connector keyboard with an iPad Pro, then you already know that the Home Button wouldn’t be necessary with one permanently attached. Between keyboard shortcuts and touchscreen gestures, we would be completely covered without it
As for me, I would definitely buy one of these devices. I use a Logitech Slim Combo keyboard case with my 12.9″ iPad Pro almost exclusively. In fact, I’m using it right now to type this article. One thing I really like about this particular keyboard case is that it is light and not too thick. This is a common drawback of many keyboard cases that come with a quality keyboard. I know because I have put up with several of them that turn an iPad into a boat anchor over the years. An iPad Pro in a MacBook form factor would suffer no such issue. It would put all of the utility and versatility of the iPad Pro in a more useful form factor for people like me.
Another big positive for power users would be battery life. With more space for a bigger battery combined with the iPad Pro’s efficient processor, you can bet that this hybrid device would be able to outlast current iPad Pros. While my 12.9″ Pro is certainly very capable, when you add a constantly used backlit keyboard drawing power from the Smart Connector, battery life takes a noticeable hit. For someone like me, the extra battery life of a hybrid would bring just a little more independence.
Add in LTE, which is already available on iPads but is unlikely to ever come to the Mac, and you have a very versatile machine that powers up instantly, has great battery life, and is always connected. I understand how unlikely it is that any of this will come to the Mac, and that is a big reason why I want people’s opinion on this iOS hybrid device first. Apple is making the vast majority of its money on iOS and hardware that runs it and its cousin OSs (watchOS, tvOS, and the new HomePod variant of iOS) , so it is natural that the company is also putting most of its development resources there, as well. That is why I think this hybrid device is far more likely to see the light of day than a touchscreen MacBook, as unlikely as it may be.
So, would you buy an iPad Pro/MacBook hybrid? I would love to know either why or why not. What would you use it for? How much would you be willing to pay for it? Do you think it would sell, or would it just be a niche item for iPad fans like me? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.